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Head Chair: Arthur Chater

The topic guide can be accessed here.

Crisis in Syria

Over the last decade, the war in Syria has led to an unprecedented disruption of civilian life and behavior. With a lack of foresight regarding the ceasefire between rebel and loyalist forces, more than 4 million Syrians have sought refuge in nearby countries such as Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan; while others ventured across the Mediterranean into Europe and beyond. While such migratory trend has been on the news’ spotlight for some time, the cultural and social implications of this phenomenon has been widely overlooked.

With a strong influx of immigrants during a time of widespread global economic crisis, many nations have become reluctant in their benevolence to welcome foreigners, leading to more conservative and nationalist political views. Countries such as Lebanon, which now hosts half of its population as refugees, has developed strict immigration policies as an attempt to maintain its national and cultural integrity. Such behavior can also be observed in almost all nations that have, in the past couple of years, accepted great numbers of immigrants.

With an increase rigidity of refugee hosting nations towards further migration, the essence of the question now turns towards those who have already been incorporated into their asylum countries. In varying degrees, many nations have expressed their difficulty in dealing with large number of refugees and their basic needs. These economic and social tribulations brought about by the taking in of refugees has given way to the questioning of Non-Refoulement policies and how to address them. The UN Refugee Agency describes Non-Refoulement as “a concept which prohibits States from returning a refugee or asylum seeker to territories where there is a risk that his or her life or freedom would be threatened on account of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion.” Hence, no nation that hosts refugees has the right to deny them asylum once they have been accepted within their international borders.

As a committee, it will be our job to re-evaluate the concept of Non-Refoulement and its applicability to the Syrian Refugee Crisis. As UN members that seek, above all, the safety and integrity of citizens in distress, how can we approach this subject and bring both State and refugees to terms? What can the UN as an international institution do to assist those members who feel that their national integrity and sovereignty has been compromised by the alarming rate of migrant influx? These and various others issues will be debated in this committee and will hopefully reach beneficial agreements for both parties.

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Claims to the Falklands

For the second topic, the focus will turn towards sovereignty and will analyze the dual claim over the Falkland Islands by Britain and Argentina. For two centuries, both nations claimed sovereignty over this archipelago off the eastern coast of Argentina. Disputes over these lands have intensified in different time periods, leading to the Falkland Islands War in 1982. Ever since, Britain has kept control over the islands while Argentina was forced to retreat.
Due to its strategic location in the Atlantic, the Falkland Islands give Britain a stronger presence in South America and the trading routes in the Southern Atlantic Ocean. Losing such claims would deeply affect the sociopolitical aspects of Latin America and the international relations between both countries. Hence, this committee will try to resolve this crisis as amicably as possible. Both nations will be represented and, as an international organization, this GA will attempt to help reach a compromise.

Arthur can be contacted at dmunc.specpol@davismun.org